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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'm a DIY and hobbyist in the world of Car and home audio looking to take my builds up a notch. I have decided that adding a routing table to my very modest collection of tools can seriously help me.

The first two attachments are the biggest project I have ever taken on... I borrowed my dads router for the front baffle for those curious :D
There are subs that go with the floor standers as well... Anyway, I am eventually going to redo those as I decided they aren't quite where I want them. Smoother, better build work, maybe a wood stain finish, etc. That recreation is quite a bit down the line.

The nearer future holds fabricating things such as pic 3 (an adapter for speakers to go into the door of my car. Right now I just have mine bolted to the sheet metal, but I really want to take the install up a notch.)

The next big project I am looking into is an amp rack for my car. It will be two pieces of wood with a LED lit Plexiglas sandwiched in the middle. So routing out shapes in the top piece of wood will be a good chunk of the work and routers are necessary to get smooth cuts in plexi.



So you can see I have a lot of projects in mind and projects cost money lol :D
That is why I am looking for a router and table with a lot of bang for buck, because i prefer to spend time and money on the projects not the tools. That said I still am willing to invest in something that will last and has some versatility.

After scanning pics of router tables thread I decided that I am interested in a table as portable and spartan as they come, honestly if it would be still be effective I'd just throw a router table top on some saw horses and call it a day.



The T10432 from grizzly is one table that so far has caught my eye.

As a DIY I was attracted to the idea of building a table, but after reading through this build I now am thinking it might be a bit beyond my skills as a woodworker:
woodsmithshop.com/download/303/routertable.pdf
plus not owning a table saw makes straight cuts a challenge...



I am interested in any recommendations on DIY or factory tables plus a router to match. I don't want to throw a budget cap on this, I want to buy something worthwhile... But I don't have much money laying around to spare, so affordable is a must.

Thanks guys for any advice,

Your friendly neighborhood college student,
Blake
 

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Blake, the plan you list is the first router table I built. It is not that difficult, you could build this. The Grizzly table is a good choice for a quick start. Building the economy table top and cabinet for it is within your skill level and it works just fine. Most bang for your buck for a good quality router? I suggest the Bosch 1617EVSPK combo kit for about $190.
 

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John
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Hey Blake, glad you found us, it's great to have you as a member of the community, welcome to Router Forums.
 

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Hi Blake, welcome to the forum.
 

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After scanning pics of router tables thread I decided that I am interested in a table as portable and spartan as they come, honestly if it would be still be effective I'd just throw a router table top on some saw horses and call it a day.
That would work.

As a DIY I was attracted to the idea of building a table, but after reading through this build I now am thinking it might be a bit beyond my skills as a woodworker:
woodsmithshop.com/download/303/routertable.pdf
plus not owning a table saw makes straight cuts a challenge...
Depends on just how fancy you want to get. I'm on about my 4th or 5th version, 1/2" plywood top, held by a spiderweb of 2X4 chunks under, and bolted to a shelf. Homemade router plate to go with it. Not sure what the total cost is, but probably less then $5, less than $10 for sure - I reuse the bolts, etc. This one has been in use for at least 10 years, with no problems.

Clamp a straight edge on a piece of wood, and cut with a skil saw. No prob. But for what I do, I tack a straight edge on my wood, then rout a straight line. Works for me.

I am interested in any recommendations on DIY or factory tables plus a router to match. I don't want to throw a budget cap on this, I want to buy something worthwhile... But I don't have much money laying around to spare, so affordable is a must.
Now I am not 'recommending' you make a table like mine, but it shows you don't have to be fancy. I have I think three working routers just now, all Craftsman, all 1/4" shank. Bought one for around $50 new, used it for years, then a solder joint came loose in it, not fixed that yet, just bought another at around $50, niew. Got some similar ones given to me, for cost of shipping. The newest router I have is at least 10 years, and still working fine. Hit some yardsales. I like having several routers, each with a different bit, then I can change bits in just a few seconds. Plus, if one router goes kaput, you've got at least one more working router you can use. I'm not cheap, I'm just on a fixed income, and usually pretty close to broke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First off, thanks for all the input, you guys are awesome

I am pretty busy this semester and don't plan on really diving into my projects until this summer, besides general design and planning. So that said, I think DIY is going to be the way for me. I can build my table when I have some spare time on weekends and then practice with it before I actually begin fabrication this May.

I'll take a look around some local hard ware stores, pawn shops, and yard sales for routers, but the Bosch 1617EVSPK may be a winner. I do have a job so it's not like I don't have any income... but maybe I won't be eating out for a while :D

I think this is a great starting point but it seems to me that I need to spend a lot more time learning about routing in general before I decide all the features I want my table to have. I'm thinking I will be spending some time this semester reading threads on routing techniques, the purposes of differing bits, etc.

Also I'm going to be reading threads that either step through table builds or are in a how to style.

I'm always open for advice and must read threads.

Thanks for all the help,

Blake
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum Blake.
 

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I am in a similar situation, wanting to "up my game" when it comes to routers. I found a nice Kreg portable router table, after-market fence, and two Kreg featherboards for 100 bucks at a pawn shop. The pawn shop had it listed on Craigslist, or I would have never seen it. That pawn shop had a bunch of routers of all kinds for very cheap, you can get some pretty nice equipment that way. I had not thought of the pawn shop before I purchased a Bosch 1617ESVPK (based on all the reading I did here!) Good buys are out there, yard and estate sales and pawn shops are just a few places to try.
 

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Brings back fond memories of being young. So many options and ***shiny object***!!
 

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Hi Blake, welcome to the forum.

I was on a similar hunt as you, not to do the same work, but to get a good budget router and table. I seriously considered the highly recommended Bosch as well. I guess budget is a relative term. Before you make your decision, think about all the other things you will need to buy too. Bits aren't cheap. You might want to get template guides and other little accessories that all add up.

Building a router table can be as cheap or expensive as you want. T-tracks, miter slots, knobs, bit guard, miter gauge, mounting plate etc are not required, but nice to have and add up. Then once you buy a mounting plate, how will you cut the hole? You might need a template, template guides, or a pattern bit.

Have you thought about dust? Dust control isn't really optional. Especially with MDF. Whoever came up with the term sawdust never used a router. If he had, it would be called routerdust.

If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll probably ask for a glass of milk to go with it. When thinking about your router purchase, don't forget about all the other things you'll want to get started. I decided the price difference between the Bosch 1617 and the Craftsman 27683 was too much, since I had to buy a whole bunch of accessories and bits. I got the Craftsman for under $100 on sale and got a bunch of Points to buy more stuff later. I have no regrets on that. I decided to build a table, that I am regretting a little.

Building a router table can turn into quite a time killer, depending on your taste, skills, other tools, and design. I don't know how many hours I've spent looking at designs on this site and elsewhere. It's fun for me, but I keep spinning my wheels now what I want. Would you rather spend the time designing and building a sweet table that does everything you think you might need, or spend that time making speakers and mounts?

Your answer will be different based on your wants and budget. Just my 2 cents.
 
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